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Big brands cannot do whatever they want. They look at value add, etc. Faster, better, better UI, content, etc.
It is weird, Google does take action on big sites and big sites often do not like to talk about it. So it happens a lot. [seroundtable.com...]
Live blog interview with Matt Cutts.
How are members seeing those quality signals playing out in the SERP's compared to "smaller" brands.
Again, why do you focus only on organic when considering the searcher?
The searcher just wants a page of results.
if Google came out with such a ham-fisted statement, they'd be toast in 5 minutes. That's one way for Google to ruin their reputation beyond repair. It would say outright: you can't trust the organics any longer - they're pay to play.
If Adwords gives them the best result for a particular search, why do you consider that a bad result?
The press would be all over that. Google Shopping got bad enough press but at least Google WERE straight-up about it - they said it would be pay to play.
Google Shopping is moving to paid only in the UK on 30th June (has moved in the US already), so you think Google Shopping will be bad for searchers because it's paid only?
[edited by: TheOptimizationIdiot at 2:11 pm (utc) on Apr 15, 2013]
I fully believe there is such compartmentalization inside Google that one group doesn't know what the other group is even doing (see also: AdSense and organics, many examples, the most recent of which is the organic team pushing Responsive Design when AdSense still doesn't approve serving responsive ads)
The AdWords portion of Google is a separate group/team/whatever. So is the design team. We're talking about the organic results in this discussion, none of the others.
Not one search engine I can think of has ever grown, or even held on to, a large market-share of search traffic through ads that are better than their organic results, but there are a number I can think of have served ads that are better than their organic results and failed (meaning lost both money and market share).
A SERP is a mix of organic and ads.
[edited by: TheOptimizationIdiot at 2:53 pm (utc) on Apr 15, 2013]
they don't need Google to give them a passNo Kidding, the way G has leveled the playing field for small sites/webmasters you could almost say big brands are the sites being penalized.
AdSense Reps were calling and telling people they would make more money by putting more adsI was on a video chat with AdSense team members explaining why I wouldn't add more or modify the current ads, they were a little pushy at first but conceded to my SEO approach admitting (twice and very categorically) that they had no clue there was just a algo rollout and had no idea what effects it would have.
To be no.1, you just have to be better than the rest - not necessarily YOUR best. If being "good enough" makes you a larger profit than being YOUR best, any company would simply set their dials to "good enough".
...isn't that kinda what we're doing? Better ads on our sites means more money but G doesn't have to worry about losing traffic to users clicking out on ads as much.
I understand good ad copy gets clicked but can't see that ruining G if the users are cool with it (does the ad end the search?).
They were two completely opposing pieces of advice from different departments at the same company. It had (and may still have) quite a few people's head spinning and left them not knowing what to do, because one was saying "go easy on the ads" and another was saying "you should plaster the page with ads".
[edited by: ColourOfSpring at 4:29 pm (utc) on Apr 15, 2013]
They just need to have people come back to them and it'll happen often enough.You're talking law of averages, right? That's what I've always thought about them and ourselves, "Got a good flow of mostly happy users, don't screw that up to get more clicks, get more users". I think it's o'kay to say G has tried, and probably continues to try, to boost it's CTR on SERP pages but too many users clicking into ads is going to make unhappy users <-- Law of averages here says a large number of landing pages will upset users.
A SERP is a mix of organic and adsWhat kind of effect would it have on a site if they were naturally #8 on page one of the SERP but had the #1 ad for that result and got all the clicks? Would the site move up from #8? I've always just assumed the ad CTR is recognized differently than a listing CTR (different redirects and all).
They just need to have people come back to them and it'll happen often enough.
You're talking law of averages, right? That's what I've always thought about them and ourselves, "Got a good flow of mostly happy users, don't screw that up to get more clicks, get more users". I think it's o'kay to say G has tried, and probably continues to try, to boost it's CTR on SERP pages but too many users clicking into ads is going to make unhappy users <-- Law of averages here says a large number of landing pages will upset users.
"Got a good flow of mostly happy users, don't screw that up to get more clicks, get more users".
You don't get how they work there then. The team we're talking about has nothing to do with ad clicks or selling AdWords or advertising in general. Their job is organic results. That's all. Nothing else.
[edited by: ColourOfSpring at 4:36 pm (utc) on Apr 15, 2013]
I've been over this one, and I'm repeating myself now...
Adwords and Search may be two highly separated departments, but dollars to donuts there's someone higher up looking at the big picture - the results of the two departments' combined work - to make sure it serves Google's bottom line. It would be silly for Google not to do this, because then profits could fall and they wouldn't know why.
What IS debatable is how far this goes.
So, if the Ad ends the search, then fine the AdWords team did a great job, but Google doesn't need to manipulate what's shown in the organics to try and make that happen more often. They just need to have people come back to them and it'll happen often enough naturally, as long as the AdWords team does their job, and if they slip, then the organics are still there to keep visitors coming back.
They might (likely -- would be silly not to imo) manipulate/change the design/layout to try and make ad clicks happen more often, but there's no need to manipulate what's shown in the organic results based on advertising. The organics have been the key to their success since they started, so why would they mess with that?
You think Google aren't interested in CTR split between organic and Adwords, even if it wasn't for simple accuracy testing? Layout testing? 2nd searches? Searcher satisfaction? Categorising searcher behaviour? All of this will be happening with comparison between ads and organic.
Adsense is just an ad publisher division of Google - they don't care where you get your website traffic from - they simply deliver ads for your website.
TOI, you mentioned the separation of departments as a response to suggestions that Google (as a whole) is making sure the SERPs, ads and all, serve their bottom line. Or maybe you didn't mean it as a response, and it just read that way on the page. Sorry if I misunderstood - just wanted to see what page we're all on.
Boy is this ever wrong. You do realize that AdSense is the other half of AdWords, right? Nothing happens to one that doesn't affect the other, and traffic quality is largely what drives smart pricing.
This business of Google manipulating organic results in order to boost ads - I've certainly seen them switch out the layout and the backgrounds of the ads, but changing the organic results? Over almost ten years and hundreds of websites and many AdWords clients (and probably tens of thousands of searches) I have never seen any sign of this. And I've looked.
But ponder this - one of the biggest threats to Google - perhaps THE biggest - is not Bing or Yahoo! It's accusations of being too monopolistic and controlling, and subsequent legislation being made against it. This isn't even a conspiracy theory. Google have - even with 70%-odd share - been dealing with this accusation for years. There's no way they can simply shoot for such a high market share without seriously jeopardising their no.1 position.
See AT & T's sudden ability to offer gigabit connectivity as a reference to the "good enough" mentality.
Do you think brands get preferential treatment by Google?
Yes 73.96% (250 votes) [seroundtable.com...]
2.The internet is fast becoming a "cesspool" where false information thrives, Google CEO eric schmidt said yesterday. Speaking with an audience of magazine executives visiting the Google campus here as part of their annual industry conference, he said their brands were increasingly important signals that content can be trusted.
"brands are the solution, not the problem," Mr. schmidt said. "brands are how you sort out the cesspool."
Source Oct 2008 : [adage.com...]
Discussion : [webmasterworld.com...]
So Eric Schmidt conveys what the organisation wants.
3.Vince Algo Update - More Offline Brand Authority in SERPS?
@Tedster My only question is whether the influence is from offline or possible some other factor - such as unlinked brand mentions, or social media buzz. [webmasterworld.com...]
Matt Cutts addressed these concerns in a three and a half minute video, which I have embedded below. Matt Cutts said this change is not necessarily a Google “update,” but rather what he would call a “minor change.” In fact, Matt told us a Googler named Vince created this change and they call it the “Vince change” at Google. He said it is not really about pushing brands to the front of the Google results. It is more about factoring trust more into the algorithm for more generic queries. He said most searchers won’t notice and it does not impact the long tail queries, but for some queries, Google might be factoring in things like trust, quality, PageRank and other metrics that convey the importance and value of a page, into the ranking algorithm. I guess, big brands have earned more trust than smaller brands, which is noted by all the recent chatter in our industry.
Source: March 2009 [searchengineland.com...]
Matt Cutts : [youtube.com...] In response to [seobook.com...]
So we think it's external factors, but not sure what. Google explains the difference.
4.Google’s Head Of Search: Google Does Not Give Brands A Bias
Singhal explains that when someone types in T, mathematically “most people typing T will go to Target. That’s the probability model. If you add R to it (“Tr”), most people are looking for a translation system. It’s actually just pure mathematical modeling.” It is just math, he says, not a bias.
Source Dec 2010: [searchengineland.com...]
"Completion" here is referring to the Autocomplete feature of Google Instant, which Singhal says is completely mathematical.
@Robert_Charlton The report doesn't discuss the algorithmic factors which might cause brands to come up as frequently as they do.
Discussion : [webmasterworld.com...]
Is this bias or an explanation that would cause an average Joe to say "what's the difference. It's the result that counts. How it's formed is Google's responsibility against the perceived user intention. So what if the search team says we are only responding to probability". I think Aaron Wall, noted above subsequently refers to it as "Reality Warping" [en.wikipedia.org...]
Doesn't seem straight to me either.
Panda / Penguin
Hit's mostly small and medium size business' that have used aggressive techniques, mostly in linking and content [ too little or farmed too much], in part, to combat brands.
Brands provided a pass.
Google defines it's own definition of brands, since some high profile sites that relied too heavily on SEO techniques were demoted in the updates. Some would argue that brands given a pass fitted a commercial bias that allowed big spending marketers a higher trust threshold that exempted them from Panda/Penguin, based upon user metrics, mostly measured on the probability referred to by Amit Singhal
To date few sites have escaped Panda, and non Penguin
Once branded by Google, as + or - sites likely won't escape. Google doesn't want excess sites and information where it doesn't have a need.
Brands that offer little or no added value, such as affiliates can have a pass, even if they don't pass all the quality criteria in the measurements outlined by MC in the OT
MC states that in highly competitive verticals, you may as well forget about trying.
So I think he was referring to niche only in the OT quote, as the "sorry, we're full" sign has gone up. Inference. You'll have to buy tickets if you want to play.
8.Eric Schmidt on the winners and losers in search rankings
Google is being investigated as to whether it may be violating anti-trust law in how it ranks websites when consumers do searches. Gwen Ifill talks to Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt as part of the Atlantic and Aspen Ideas Forum. [pbs.org...]
Transcript of Senate Hearing [guardian.co.uk...]
NB Brands only seem to be complaining about the prejudice of results by Google assets, not their preferred positions. [ I mean why would they ].
9. Guys, you'll have to help me for this referral, but in an SEC filing, I think, around late 2012, it states something along these lines :
Google does not consider Ads any differently from organic listings. They are all listed for the purposes of relevance to the user audience, from which the advertising model derives income to Google.
So if Google has enough relevant content to organise a bidding game that pays across various Google assets, why show organic listings that don't pay.
10. Loop back to the poll @ 1 above
Personally, I do think there is merit in promoting some brands, and a reality about big business that "money talks" , "BS walks". That's life, even though I detest the latter and have to negotiate through it by seeking the truth as best I can.
-Do I think we've been fed the truth. No [ well YES kinda of :) ]. Sometimes. Darn semantics, language and interpretation gets confusing to know what the truth is :)
-Do I think small/medium business has suffered. Yes [ but they can fight back, but not all will if they solely depended on Google organics]. Sad.
-Will Google provide a free socially democratic platform where everyone will be happy and all quality innovation will be rewarded. No - it never will and it never could.
Folks that believed they could eat candy for free for life and Google loves them, are probably angry and disappointed in their delusion of romance, leaving some spurned, rejected , bitter and badly burned - no joke intended, this is real and needs respect [ that's sad ], but as @travelin_cat says: Thanks for all the fish [webmasterworld.com...]
Look after yourselves, families , friends, communities and business'. The web can and will be a place of prosperity with or without Google.
[edited by: Whitey at 7:53 pm (utc) on Apr 15, 2013]
[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 10:30 pm (utc) on Apr 15, 2013]
[edit reason] fixed typo at poster request [/edit]
Can't help but chuckle at the idea of SEO services re-marketing themselves as "internet marketing specialists."
...and if only they'd had a better business model than spraying your homepage link all over any blog not smart enough to moderate those comments. ;)
To lower or just maintain their market share % Google can either lose visitors (and ad click revenue) as a percentage of searchers or people have to find the answer they're looking for with less queries on Google, meaning Google's results must get better, not worse, for them to lower or not grow market share and maintain profitability.
What they need to do to keep from having too much market share while retaining profitability is the exact opposite of what you are suggesting they're doing. The worse their results, the more queries people have to make to find what they're looking for and the more queries people make on average the higher their market share becomes.
Your view is that Google will maximise organic accuracy regardless of the impact that will have on Adwords. You might be right (and we're all guessing here), but I would be very surprised if you were.
Just a visual example here. Compare SERPs in 2005 to today on a commercial search - more ad space, less organic - quite often organic is below the fold on common screen resolutions. It's just a visual representation of what ad clicks mean to Google. They will work right up to the threshold when it comes to maximising ad clicks - the threshold being searcher satisfaction.
I'm always getting unsolicited pitches from a supposed SEO expert named "Stella Fair" who wants to rock my site to the top of Google
Yea, she hits me up too, on sites where I have 8 out of 10 results on the first page (and if she were a real SEO, she'd know who I was and wouldn't bother.